Aging concerns us all. Even an infant has begun to age. But at whatever point we identify ourselves with the birthday yardstick, we have the opportunity to demonstrate ageless life through Christian practice, and thus destroy the myriad effects of aging that issue from the belief in passing time.
According to some of the most respected thinkers, time is by no means an absolute. ''A Viewer's Guide to Cosmos,'' a supplement to a thirteen-part television series produced by Carl Sagan and KCET-TV/Los Angeles, comments on ''one of the most curious and perplexing phenomena described in Einstein's theory; that is, that a person completing a long journey at close to the speed of light would find, on his return to earth, that he had aged considerably less than those he left behind.''
A summary of Sagan's program on the subject of ''Journeys in Space and Time'' goes farther. Supposing that one could travel close to the speed of light, it calculates that after a journey to Barnard's star, some six-light years from Earth - an entire round-trip journey of about sixteen years as measured by ordinary clocks carried aboard the spaceship - returning space travelers ''would find that some thousands of years had elapsed in terms of earth time.''
Such travelers wouldn't have found a remedy for aging. However, if we are willing to look in quite another direction, it is possible now not just to postpone the aging process but to progressively release ourselves from liability to deterioration and decrepitude, delay and decay. Indeed, for longer than centuries the means have been available to change the beliefs about mortality that subject us to aging. The truth of man's immortal nature as a child of God has always been available. This truth is the eternal law of God, divine Life.
In the book of Job, Zophar the Naamathite states what might be called the divinely lawful method of gaining dominion over age. He says: ''If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; if iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. . . . And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.'' n1
n1 Job 11:13, 14, 17.
We prepare our hearts when, with childlikeness, we cleanse our motives of the longing merely to overcome the outward trappings of aging. Childlikeness is a humble, joyous, buoyant state of mind, which all can cultivate through prayer and Christian practice. Christ Jesus said, ''Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'' n2
n2 Matthew 18:3.
We stretch out our hands to open heaven's, harmony's, door when we set ourselves to seek and follow God's guidance always, in all ways. Iniquity is never put far enough away until it is recognized under any alias and treated for what it is - nobody and nothing. We can refuse to claim coexistence with evil as though it were something inevitable and inescapable. We can choose to claim coexistence with God, eternal Life.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, delineates one sure way we can conquer the evil belief that time can wear us out. She writes: ''Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.'' n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 246.
The man of God's creating is not fleshly, headed for deterioration and death. He is as eternal and immortal as his creator, God. The noontide of perfect manhood neither waxes nor wanes. If we believe that it can or has, we suffer not so much from age as from misunderstanding of God, who is the only creator and Life.
Ageless life is as available to us as spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding is as available to us as God. And God is not light-years away. God is everywhere - actually, All-in-all. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. II Peter 3:8m